Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The entry-level Volkswagen ID.3 battery is the Pure Performance 45kWh and it's officially good for 217 miles on a single charge. It comes with a 148bhp motor that enables a claimed 0-62mph time of 8.9sec.
Next up is the 58kWh battery, which is available with two power outputs. In the Pro it's 143bhp, but if you opt for our recommended Pro Performance it has 201bhp, delivering 0-60mph in just 6.6sec during our testing. That's slower than the Tesla Model 3 Stand Range Plus and more comparable with the fastest Nissan Leaf, but the ID.3 still has instant electric car surge off the line and enough poke to ensure you're not out of puff in the fast lane. What’s more, this version of ID.3 covered 226 miles in our Real Range test, ahead of the closely related Skoda Enyaq with an identically sized battery pack.
That said, the small electric car class isn’t exactly stuffed full of rivals that ride better. The Model 3 Standard Range Plus is quite agitated on these surfaces (although the more expensive Performance version is definitely better than the ID.3 in this regard), while the bouncy BMW i3 and jittery Nissan Leaf 62kWh are even less settled than the ID.3. However, the Honda E, Leaf 40kWh and Peugeot e-208 all do a better job of smoothing out ruts and bumps.
With an excellent turning circle (10.2m – around the same as a VW Up) and light steering, manoeuvring the ID.3 around town is a breeze. Beyond the urban sprawl, the steering is accurate and sensibly geared, so it’s not a flighty car to thread along B-roads, but it doesn't give much finger-tingling communication or weight build-up when cornering in the default Comfort driving mode. Hit Sport mode and you get a bit of useful extra heft to the steering, though.